Rangers 2 - 3 Hibs: Repeat of cup final as Hibs lay down marker

Hibs' Vykintas Slivka's shot finds the net via Rangers' James Tavernier. picture: SNS/Rob Casey
Hibs' Vykintas Slivka's shot finds the net via Rangers' James Tavernier. picture: SNS/Rob Casey
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Neil Lennon and his Hibs side walked away from Ibrox with a deserved 3-2 victory, the same scoreline as the 2016 Scottish Cup final.

Rangers went ahead early through Alfredo Morelos before Simon Murray netted a fine individual goal. However, the game turned when Ryan Jack was sent off following an altercation in the middle of the pitch in the first half.

Rangers' Ryan Jack grabs Hibs' Dylan McGeouch, in part of an incident which led to his red card. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey

Rangers' Ryan Jack grabs Hibs' Dylan McGeouch, in part of an incident which led to his red card. Picture: SNS/Alan Harvey

Hibs took advantage going ahead through a James Tavernier own goal. Vykintas Slivka added a third in the second half before Tavernier scored at the right end to set up an exciting finale, Hibs holding in for a massive three points.

There was barely three minutes on the clock when Daniel Candeias swung in a tantalising free-kick from the right-hand side where Morelos snuck in free at the back post and headed past Ofir Marciano.

The Hibs goalkeeper nearly handed Rangers a second. The Israeli tried to find Efe Ambrose with a pass but the weak effort went straight to Kenny Miller who steered it towards the empty net, the ball bouncing agonisingly wide.

It merely added to a buoyant atmosphere in Govan, stoked up further when Tavernier and Anthony Stokes clashed, both going into John Beaton’s notebook.

Rangers’ tails were up, pushing both Hibs wing-backs towards their own goal. Josh Windass skipped past Steven Whittaker easily to get to the byeline before laying the ball to Miller. But the forward’s effort was defected off the post.

Then, seconds later, in the 21st minute Hibs struck. Perhaps due to over-exuberance, Rangers were caught high up the pitch. Murray picked the ball up on the left wing and drove froward, inside both Fabio Cardoso and Bruno Alves, the latter left on the turf, before simply passing it past Wes Foderingham.

Hibs, having built into the match, were now dominating and were handed a massive boost when Jack was shown a red card.

Vykintas Slivka made a late challenge on Graham Dorrans prompting pushing and shoving in the middle of the park. Jack pulled Dylan McGeouch to the ground and then went head-to-head with John McGinn. To the amazement of many he was sent-off.

Hibs were in dreamland in the 39th minute when Murray dispossessed Lee Hodson on the edge of the box, burst into the box before setting up Slivka. The Lithuanian spun Cardoso, steering the ball across the six-yard box where Tavernier steered it comically past Foderingham.

Pedro Caixinha switched system in the second half, bringing on Danny Wilson and Eduardo Herrera, to go 3-4-2.

However, it was Hibs who went closest first. Murray spun on the edge of the box and flashed a shot just past the post.

With little control of the game Rangers were reliant on set pieces. Cardoso headed a corner wide of the back post just after the hour before a deep Tavernier free-kick was headed into the six yard box where Morelos’ effort was blocked behind for a corner.

Deja vu from the first half. Moments after Rangers had passed up a presentable chance, Hibs had netted.

Lewis Stevenson’s throw found Slivka 25 yards from goal. The former Juventus man, controlled with his thigh before zipping in a fantastic volley into the bottom corner.

Just as the game looked like it was over, Tavernier brought Rangers back into the game with ten minutes remaining. The ball was worked out left, Miller finding Wilson who caressed a cross in first time. At the back post Tavernier out-jumped Lewis Stevenson and headed it back across goal and into the net.

Rangers rarely threatened after that, Alves firing a free-kick just over the bar.